Make Over Your Holiday Cheer

Drink In The Holidays (Not the Sugar).

Over the next month, you'll spend a lot of time with a glass in your hand. Between office parties, neighborhood gatherings, and family events, you'll be sipping, swirling, and toasting for weeks on end.

But most festive drinks pack the calories of a milkshake, so beware of the 1-to-6 pounds the average person gains over the holidays.

One easy fix is to use sparkling water with a splash of cranberry or orange juice as your default. This is an easy stand-in for syrupy punch or a cocktail.

For party-time, here are three yummy, less sugary alternatives to fix for friends, guests or visitors from over-the-river-and-through-the-woods. In fact, when we’re asked to a party or potluck, we offer to bring one of these merry makers. They are always a hit.

Lemon-Orange Fizz

Adapted from: Eating Well


  • 2 cups orange seltzer
  • 1-2 tablespoons frozen lemonade
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Lemon wedge
  • Ice cubes


  1. Combine seltzer, lemonade, and lemon juice. Fill glasses with ice and top with the seltzer mixture.


Orange-Earl Grey Iced Tea

Adapted from: Eating Well

Get a little pick-me-up with this orange-infused Earl Grey iced tea. Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids that may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's and diabetes, plus help you have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. This recipe lets you or your guests a sweetener of choice.

Yields: 8 servings, about 1 cup each


  • 1/4 cup loose Earl Grey tea or 12 Earl Grey tea bags
  • Peel of 1 orange, plus orange wedges for garnish
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 cups cold water


  1. Steep loose tea (or tea bags) and orange peel in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the tea (or remove tea bags and orange peel) and pour into a large pitcher. Stir in orange juice. Add cold water. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve over ice with orange wedges, if desired.



Better-for-You Eggnog

Adapted from: Oprah

Now for the holiday heavyweight: eggnog. Just when you thought you couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t, here’s a version that pares the traditional 340 calories per cup down to less than 100. 

Servings: 6


  • 6 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • Up to 6 tablespoons calorie-free sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • Ground nutmeg or cinnamon


In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together skim milk, egg substitute, powdered milk, and sweetener over medium heat. Cook, stirring, 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and rum extracts. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

Stir well and pour into cups. Sprinkle each with nutmeg or cinnamon.

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